Shadow of the Templar Lacunae: With A Bullet, Chapter 49.5: Jeremy

On timeline: during With A Bullet, at the end of chapter 49
Spoilers for: everything up to With A Bullet, chapter 49, no gosh really
Warnings: cockity cockity dick (the mouse ran up the click), Simon being a jerk again, mildly-unrealistic Britishness, one or two cusswords

With A Bullet's sole iris-out, brought to light and taking full advantage of With A Bullet's use of multiple POVs!



      "I suppose I've faced worse odds," Jeremy said lazily, shifting. There, finally, was the little purring note that Simon had been listening for. Although he had barely moved, leaning in the doorway had somehow become lounging in the doorway; Jeremy's hand drifted up, over his hip, over his chest, and up to his hidden face, and Simon watched it go. "Aren't you going to ask me to be gentle with you?" Jeremy asked, running his hand back through his hair. "I've been wanting to have someone say that to me all my life."

      "Well, I would, only there's the part where you're kind of a little guy, also British, also a giant faggot, and I may be crippled but I've still got my pride," Simon said. "Shut up and come take advantage of me before my pain pill wears off."

      "You're such a romantic," Jeremy said, straightening up. His hand fell again and he slithered out of his t-shirt without a second thought, like a lizard shedding its skin. For just a moment his hair fell in his nearly-hidden eyes, then he flicked it back with a little jerk of his head and discarded his t-shirt on the floor. "Really, Simon, do try not to gush so. It's embarrassing."

      "Yeah, yeah. You coming or what?"

      "Oh, I'm certain I will, eventually," said Jeremy, closing the bedroom door behind him and casting them both into orange-barred darkness.  

49.5: Jeremy

      For a moment he was still, one hand on the doorknob, waiting while the room evolved rapidly from the shadows. Even with the louvered blinds closed as tightly as they would go, Simon's bedroom never enjoyed real, honest darkness; the lights from outside were both bright and intrusive, one of the many reasons that Jeremy was privately quite glad that he only spent a few evenings a year here.

      "Any day now, Archer," Simon said. He didn't sound at all tired any more. Indeed, the anticipation in his voice made him sound more awake than he had in days, and more Simon, to boot. It was wonderful to hear. The momentary soft-focus elation startled the faintest laugh out of Jeremy. "What?" Simon said, now mildly peeved on top of it all.

      "I suppose I'm only happy that you're feeling better," Jeremy said. Judging it now bright enough for basic manoeuvring, Jeremy let go of the doorknob and padded across the horrible carpet towards the equally-horrible bed.

      "Happy," Simon said disdainfully. Jeremy could nearly hear him rolling his eyes.

      "Believe what you will, Simon." By the time Jeremy rounded the corner of the bed the details of the room were vividly clear, including the sullen expression striped across Simon's face and the blue-orange striations of light falling across Simon's white t-shirt. Jeremy could and did walk with perfect assurance now, hand dotting lightly off Simon's leg as he went purely for the pleasure of it. "I assure you, however, that I am eminently capable of happiness."

      Simon stretched out a hand at the very instant that Jeremy came within range—it was trembling with the strain, but only just—and hooked his first two fingers into the waist of Jeremy's trousers, drawing Jeremy half a step closer in. "Yeah, okay, granted, but being happy for other people? Sorry. Not buying it."

      "Well, if you'd prefer, you can think of it as my being quite happy that I'm about to be allowed to—oh, how did you put it—'take advantage of you'?" Jeremy let his hips cant forward into the pull of Simon's fingers.

      Simon pursed his lips, glancing away. "I can buy that," he declared, after some thought. He punctuated the compromise with a slight downwards tug on Jeremy's trousers.

      "I'm so glad," Jeremy said, smiling. All too easy. It was always just... too easy. "Did you want me to take those off? Is that what you're implying?"

      "Actually, here," said Simon, pulling his hand free (somewhat to Jeremy's disappointment) and pushing awkwardly at the mattress. "Let me just sit up a little—"

      Quickly, before that could go any farther than it had, Jeremy put his hand on Simon's unwounded shoulder. Simon subsided with a faint 'oof' and a momentary startled look. "I thought you wanted to enjoy feeling all right," Jeremy said. "Instead of getting up."

      "Well, yeah, but despite what I said I think this'll all work a lot better if I'm sitting up, Archer." The sour expression had returned, although at least Simon wasn't trying to push himself upright any longer. One hand fluttered over his chest before returning, slowly, to his side.

      "There's no hurry, is there," Jeremy said, pitching his own voice soft and low, dropping to one knee to put them on the same level. It worked as beautifully as it always had: Simon stopped grumbling in order to listen, his eyes falling half-shut. Jeremy smiled at Simon's newly-pensive expression and stroked Simon's shoulder. "No hurry at all," Jeremy repeated, even more softly. "Lie there for a while first and let me take care of things."

      A healthy variety of expressions flitted across Simon's face as he considered this. In the end his face was as easy to read as a road sign: pleased, anticipatory, willing to accept being tended to as his kingly due, but still planning a token protest in order to save a bit of face. "Yeah, but," said Simon, exactly on cue.

      Jeremy put his lips up against Simon's ear. "And after I've taken care of you," Jeremy breathed, "you can return the favour, if you like."

      No further protest seemed to be forthcoming. Simon's breath huffed unevenly out of him, but that was all. Pleased, Jeremy sneaked a glance at Simon's face: nothing short of smug, like a cat full of cream. There was just something about being offered this sort of largesse that enthralled most men, Simon apparently included. Doubtless because being told to simply lie back and enjoy it was akin to getting something for free—Jeremy swallowed the little laugh that threatened to accompany this thought and ran his tongue around the curve of Simon's ear in its stead.

      Simon shivered, almost imperceptibly. "Mn," he said, catching Jeremy's bare shoulder in one hand. "Okay. You win." Simon's thumb ticked over the curve of Jeremy's shoulder before his hand dropped back to the bed.

      "Do you know, I'd gathered as much," said Jeremy, drifting back to his feet. He slipped his belt free, not bothering to hurry—tonight, with Simon in his current condition, haste was nothing less than an enemy. Accordingly Jeremy lingered over the undoing of his trousers, fingers deliberate on his fly; Simon tucked one hand behind his head and watched Jeremy's hands, his expression full of lazy satisfaction. Jeremy could almost forget that the man was recuperating, except for the way that Simon held his other arm clamped firmly against his side.

      He'd just finished unbuttoning when Simon reached out again, fingertips pressing past Jeremy's to light on the lowermost button. It was a tiny touch, just a breath of pressure, but in a place where that was already most welcome; Jeremy closed his eyes for a brief moment, pleasantly aware of Simon's fingers sorted in between his own. "Hm," he said. "Yes, Simon?"

      "Nothing," said Simon, flicking the button and returning his hand to where it had been. "Just felt like it."

      "Oh, I see." Jeremy thought that he did, perhaps, see, and should have seen it sooner. "In that case, do you feel like helping with the rest?"

      Simon flapped a lazy hand at him. "You do it," he said. "I'll pitch in if I feel like it."

      "Suit yourself, Simon." Jeremy wriggled out of his trousers (Simon's fingers dotting off the waist band and then catching at a belt loop, ostensibly 'helping') and let them fall into a neat little puddle about his ankles (Simon's hand tracing a momentary arc over Jeremy's hip) and stepped out of them, kicking them aside (Simon's fingers drifting up along Jeremy's bared thigh to his waist).

      Simon clawed effortfully at Jeremy's close-fitting briefs for a tick, failed to scare up any purchase, and let his hand drop again. "When are you going to buy underwear that actually fits you, Archer?" Simon asked, a bit breathless.

      "I think I'd be aware if my pants were too tight," Jeremy said, plucking at them. "For one thing, I'd likely be wincing."

      "Walking funny," Simon added, with a bit of unseemly relish. He reached out again and touched the material, his fingertips rubbing against Jeremy's hip for a moment.

      "Therefore, they've been the correct size all along," Jeremy said, unable to resist a smile. "But I think perhaps you'd best wait and investigate that later. When it's your proper turn."

      Simon reeled that hand back in. "Yeah, okay."

      Catching the edge of the sheet Jeremy flicked it out of the way, considering his options. Simon's t-shirt could stay, he thought. Neither of them were likely to find the bandages at all erotic (nor the associated bruises and random shaven patches), and removing the shirt would involve forcing Simon to sit up, in the bargain. And, as his scrutiny was beginning to make Simon restless, Jeremy stopped thinking about it and picked up the hem of the t-shirt, lifting it up just enough to leave Simon's stomach bare. "That'll do, I think," he said judiciously—and just in time, as well, as Simon had been about to try and struggle out of the bloody thing.

      Simon subsided, and Jeremy crawled into the bed, trying his best not to jostle Simon about too much. He wound up sprawled comfortably half-atop Simon's legs, resting his head on his crossed arms. Simon was still pleasantly warm and relaxed from his nap, despite his occasional attempts to exert himself; for a moment Jeremy indulged himself and just rested where he was, contemplating both Simon and his next move.

      Simon craned his neck, attempting to monitor Jeremy for any sort of suspicious behaviour. Unlike usual, however, he was far too sore to maintain the pose for long; after a moment Simon's head fell back onto the pillow, leaving him scowling up at the ceiling again. He did not so much say 'ow' as demonstrate it, patting gingerly at his chest before clamping his arm back against his side. Even a year ago Simon might have used this opportunity to remind Jeremy that he couldn't be trusted or was suspect by default; now, however, tonight, Simon only said, "Enjoying the view?" with a mild amount of acid in his tone.

      "Oh, yes," Jeremy said, rather more flattered that Simon had intended. "I suppose you'd like me to get on with things?"

      "Yeah, Archer," Simon said, mock patience in his voice. "That'd be nice."

      "Oh, well, as you will, then." Goaded by a momentary flash of—not pique, not precisely; call it devilry, then—Jeremy abandoned his first set of carefully-laid plans and rose up onto one hip, abandoning Simon's legs and that so-very-suggestive pose in order to, instead, settle himself carefully up against Simon's unwounded side.

      Simon's eyebrows shot up. He hesitated for a moment, then pulled his hand out from behind his head and wrapped that arm carefully about Jeremy's shoulders instead (more in the service of keeping some measure of control over Jeremy than out of any actual sentiment, Jeremy was certain). "... what?" Simon asked. "Change your mind, Archer?"

      "Changed my mind," Jeremy confirmed in a low undertone, and he leaned in to steal himself a kiss.

      It wasn't precisely the nicest kiss that Jeremy had ever had. Almost not worth stealing at all. Simon's mouth was still sour from his nap and his grousing impatience with the kiss proved his mood to be equally sour. Jeremy had always rather liked the grumbling, though, and he certainly liked how Simon gave in and gingerly leaned into the kiss after only a few seconds' worth of symbolic resistance. As a reward, then, Jeremy let his hand drift over and settle onto the front of Simon's shorts, fingers spreading out to encompass as much as possible.

      Simon's own fingers spasmed against Jeremy's shoulder. Startled, then; Jeremy enjoyed that little realisation for a moment. Simon's sudden, renewed interest in the ongoing kiss, he also enjoyed. The bits of Simon under his fingers had been soft enough at first touch, but something in there was already firming under Jeremy's palm. Jeremy nudged the growing thing out straight with the tips of his fingers, then stroked his palm along it a few times, making Simon huff out a deeply appreciative breath against the side of his face.

      The kiss ended, dissolving into nothingness. Jeremy shut his eyes and rested his forehead against Simon's temple, the better to concentrate on other things.

      Best to go carefully, alas, lest Simon get carried away and hurt himself attempting to dictate how the next few minutes should go. Jeremy hooked his leg over both of Simon's, tucking his foot neatly away behind Simon's knee and, not incidentally, pinning Simon's legs to the bed. The one hand he slid behind Simon's head, ever prepared to catch a handful of Simon's hair should Simon become fractious (or, admittedly, should Jeremy decide that he wanted to); the other hand he lifted away and slid under the band of Simon's briefs, finally taking Simon's cock in hand.

      The noise Simon made at that was nothing short of relieved, something more than a grunt but less than a groan. Half-hard now and rapidly getting harder, Simon made that little sound again every time that Jeremy's hand bore down; the little squeezes made less and less of an impression until, after almost no time at all, Simon's cock was as solid as a length of wood inside Jeremy's fist. Jeremy dashed off a small, distracted kiss against Simon's jaw and switched his grip, dragging his fingers up along the shaft of Simon's cock until they encircled the head of it, instead.

      Simon tried to lift his hips up into the stroke, naturally enough. However, if Jeremy allowed him to do that then Simon would eventually insist on rolling over to face Jeremy, and from there possibly over on top of Jeremy, and somewhere along the line he would hurt himself—Jeremy pressed his leg down and settled on top of Simon's unwounded side, instead, trapping Simon just where he was. He kissed Simon again, using his grip on the back of Simon's head to pull him up and into the kiss when Simon proved initially cranky; his other hand stroked back down, slipping neatly under the band of Simon's underwear to stroke two fingers over Simon's balls for a brief moment. Simon's briefs rode down on Jeremy's wrist, now largely pointless.

      Oh, Simon didn't want to be enjoying this as much as he was. His cock twitched eagerly inside Jeremy's moving hand and his pulse was speeding, but despite his obvious physical enjoyment he muttered something under his breath and made a half-hearted effort to push Jeremy away. Jeremy refused to be moved. Simon subsided, eventually, although he abruptly broke from the kiss. Jeremy couldn't help but smile. "Shh," he murmured, smiling against Simon's cheek, drawing his fingers upwards again. "Just hush and let me. Remember?"

      "Asshole," Simon muttered, clutching at Jeremy's shoulder.


      Out of pure necessity Jeremy kept his hand gentle on Simon—with an effort, and an effort that neither of them particularly appreciated. Still, even as slow and careful as the rhythm was, it was still a rhythm. By throwing his leg across Simon's Jeremy had also inevitably ended up straddling one of Simon's own legs; now he found himself rocking forward against Simon with every gentle stroke, taking full advantage of Simon's thigh, his own breath growing shorter half in time with Simon's. Simon's hand fell from Jeremy's shoulder to grab his arse and Jeremy was startled into a brief, breathless laugh. "Better save some of that for me," Simon said, wheezing and irritated and hopelessly aroused, giving Jeremy a warning squeeze. "You said I could have it."

      "I expect there'll be some left," Jeremy said. He squeezed Simon's cock in response and made him cough out a startled breath.

      "Well... well... good," Simon said, only floundering a little. "Also, you know what, this is nice and all, but I was hoping for something a little more to celebrate my, my return to the world of the not-critically-injured."

      "Mm," said Jeremy, letting his fingers slow to a stop. Simon gritted his teeth—the flexing of his jaw was immensely clear against Jeremy's cheek—but managed not to protest out loud. Jeremy pretended not to notice. "Well. I suppose that this is intended to be some sort of celebration..."

      "Yeah, it's a party," Simon said. He didn't sound amused. "In my pants, as it were."

      Jeremy quite nearly started laughing outright, but managed to bite it back just in time. "I suppose it's useless to ask you to lie still and let me tend to you, but I am going to do so one last time," he said instead. "If you hurt yourself now, how will you ever repay me afterwards?"

      "I'm fine," Simon protested, but whatever had been about to follow did not. Jeremy's meaning had taken a couple of seconds to filter through, but judging by Simon's thoughtful expression, filter through it had. Simon didn't like accepting favours and he hated being in Jeremy's karmic or sexual debt for any longer than he had to be. His hand fell away from Jeremy's arse, letting him go; Jeremy slid away and down along Simon's body, managing in the process to take Simon's underwear with him.

      It wasn't quite as easy as that, really—Simon was both large and heavy and he was, after all, lying on the damned things—but Jeremy was an old hand at dressing and undressing himself in the strangest of situations, and in comparison, this was trifling. It only required a bit of force. The briefs he abandoned stretched tight about Simon's thighs; any sort of restraint, no matter how slim, could only work in Jeremy's favour at the moment. Simon made a single noise of surprise at his abrupt stripping and then Jeremy dropped back into his initial position across Simon's legs, this time catching Simon's cock in his hand and pressing it to his cheek.

      The noise Simon made this time was a good deal more choked. Despite the weight of Jeremy heavy across his thighs Simon shifted, immense like a rock-slide underneath Jeremy. What, exactly, Simon was trying to do was unclear, all the more so because he stopped short a moment later, hissing like a teakettle about to boil and clamping his arm against his wounded side. Simon remained taut and frozen for a moment, then grudgingly relaxed back onto the bed.

      Jeremy didn't say it. He didn't have to. The fact that Simon was now staring resolutely at the far wall said enough about his embarrassment. "You know what, you could use a shave," Simon said, trying to recapture some of his dignity.

      "Terribly sorry," Jeremy said fondly, thinking liar, liar. Still, if Simon was going to protest—leaving his hand to tend to Simon's cock Jeremy pressed his face to the skin of Simon's groin instead, revelling for a moment in the sheer heat of it and in the familiar animal scent of Simon. Simon's cock twitched in his hand and Jeremy ran a judicious thumb up along its length to quiet it again, most of his attention bent on drawing his tongue in a thin wet line across Simon's lower belly. Simon shivered, heavy muscle tensing for a moment before relaxing again.

      Jeremy scattered a handful of kisses across Simon's stomach, his fingers still lazy on Simon's cock—by now it was just a matter of seeing how long it took Simon to protest this treatment. Under a minute, as it turned out, to Jeremy's eternal unsurprise. "Dammit, Archer," Simon muttered thickly, pushing—carefully—up into Jeremy's hand.

      "You'd take all the fun out of it, Simon," said Jeremy, pausing. "It ought to be a process, not just a means to an end."

      "It's a God-damned cock tease, is what it is, and don't even try to tell me that you don't know exactly what you're doing," Simon said. "Process, my ass. Do you have any idea how long it's been?"

      Jeremy could not possibly resist. "Yes," he said, raising both eyebrows. "I rather think I have an excellent idea of how long it's been, unless there's something you haven't been telling me."

      Simon deflated, almost visibly. "That is not the point," he said, flustered. "The point is... I... oh, Christ, just blow me already, will you?"

      "You only had to ask," Jeremy said serenely. Without further ado he rose up and swallowed Simon's cock all the way to the edge of his own controlling hand.

      "Huh," said Simon in breathless approbation, grabbing a great handful of Jeremy's hair by purest reflex. A moment later he let go again, long enough to grab the second pillow and jam it under his head, propping himself up well enough to keep an eye on the goings-on. It was to be a show, then. Well, Jeremy wasn't averse to that. Accordingly he let his mouth fall open, curling his tongue showily around the head of Simon's cock before closing his lips around it again; Simon's hand found its way back into his hair, which seemed like some manner of appreciation.

      It took only two slow dips of his head to render Simon temporarily docile underneath him. Settling into a long, slow, lazy rhythm that was more about maintenance than payoff—paying lip service to the job, as it were, a thought that nearly made Jeremy smile against a part of Simon that would be certain to notice—Jeremy carefully resettled himself atop Simon, trading one hand for the other on the base of Simon's cock and curling the first hand loosely about Simon's balls.

      It was a surprisingly comfortable position, sprawled out half across Simon's legs and half across the foot of the bed. Indeed, Jeremy thought he might like it. Certain things, however, weren't going to be possible with his chin tucked down against his chest the way it was; Simon would have to live without the flashier displays of skill for one evening, and Jeremy's hands would just have to compensate for the lack. His fingers flexed, possibly in apology. "Yeah," Simon breathed, somewhere far above Jeremy's head.

      Haste was out of the question. So, unfortunately, was fervour: anything that might lead to Simon forgetting himself might also lead to Simon re-injuring himself. While Jeremy was privately certain that Simon might not necessarily mind that sort of trade-off, Jeremy was also certain that he didn't want to be the one responsible for it. Slitting his eyes half-open, he glanced up at Simon: Simon had his own eyes closed and was breathing deeply through his half-open mouth, utterly focused on the sensation, concentrating on it. Good. That was, in point of fact, exactly what Jeremy had hoped to see—Simon wetted his lower lip with his tongue. "Yeah," he said again.

      Slow, then, steady—let it build... closing his eyes again Jeremy wrapped his tongue tightly about the underside of Simon's cock and lost himself in the simplicity of it. No tricks, no more teasing, nothing that would disrupt Simon's focus, only the endless cycle of ascent and descent. Miracle of miracles they were on the same wavelength now, Simon resigned to the quiet of it—enjoying it quite a bit, actually, if Jeremy's mouth was any judge. Jeremy's jaw might ache a bit by the time he was done, but that was likely to be the worst of it.

      "Yeah," Simon said again, barely audible. His voice sounded thicker now, and his breathing heavy. The muscle of his thighs flexed under Jeremy's chest, reacting to the next dip of Jeremy's head, and after that there was really no keeping him still. At least his movements stayed small and reflexive, just the slightest shuddering flex of muscle pushing him up every time that Jeremy's head plunged down. His fingers tightened around their handful of Jeremy's hair, relaxed, tightened again.

      Jeremy, his eyes closed, kept up that unhurried, inexorable rhythm and attended to every slight change in Simon. Sexual pyrotechnics these were not, but still Simon's breath slowly grew shorter; his head rolled bonelessly from side to side on the pillows as he rocked up into Jeremy's mouth, now quivering just a bit. The hand once knotted in Jeremy's hair let go and spread out over the side of his head, making a silent suggestion as to the angle of Jeremy's head without, for once, forcing the matter. Jeremy complied, taking the head of Simon's cock hard against the roof of his mouth, and Simon's next breath groaned out between his teeth.

      Its ending was almost rapid, in comparison. One moment Simon was only breathing heavily and nudging up into Jeremy's mouth every time it slid back down; the next moment his cock swelled that last little bit and his balls tightened in Jeremy's hand and he wheezed out an indecipherable sound, those little movements taking on a demanding edge. All the warning necessary, but Jeremy had known for half an hour that he wouldn't pay that warning any mind—one stroke, two, three, and Simon craned his head back against the pillows and came into Jeremy's mouth with a single, strangled noise.

      Jeremy saw him through it, neither hands nor mouth faltering even as Simon clutched at him. The hand kneading at the base of Simon's cock eked out another spasm, as did each and every pull of Jeremy's mouth—Jeremy sucked Simon dry and shuddering before he deigned to stop, coming to rest with his parted lips pressed against the edge of his controlling hand.

      Once Simon's muscles untensed he rapidly melted into the mattress, his body going limp. "Unh," he said, his eyes open now and staring dazedly off somewhere over Jeremy's left ear. Now he was done, Jeremy decided, and he relinquished Simon, sucking him clean with one last long, slow pull that made a muscle in Simon's belly flutter. Jeremy dealt quietly with his leftover mouthful. Simon didn't say a word about it.

      Jeremy massaged his jaw with the heel of his hand. Sore, yes, but not terribly, and over the years he'd acquired something of a taste for the, well, the taste. He swallowed again. "Not bleeding to death, I trust," he said.

      "Don't think so," Simon said, his voice still a bit hoarse. He patted gingerly at his chest. "Hey, what do you know, I think I'll survive."

      "I'll take that as a compliment, shall I," Jeremy said.

      "Yeah, you do that." Simon awkwardly ruffled Jeremy's hair and let his hand drop. It would pass for gratitude, from Simon.

      Smoothing his hand back over his hair, Jeremy surveyed the wreckage. Somehow Simon managed to be both flushed and distressingly pale at the same time, two hectic spots of colour high up on his pallid cheeks; his hair was plastered to his forehead with sweat. Simon's t-shirt was shoved awkwardly up to the lower arch of his ribcage and his abandoned shorts were still stretched tight across his thighs, baring his entire midsection and framing his softening cock neatly in the gap. In short, he looked ridiculous. Really, Jeremy was charmed.

      Quickly, before Simon could demand to know what Jeremy thought he was staring at, Jeremy caught the band of Simon's shorts and pulled them back up. Simon collected himself long enough to raise his hips half an inch. It made him wince, but only a little, and two seconds later he was semi-decent again. Jeremy drew the t-shirt back down, closing the gap entirely. "Are you all right?" he asked.

      Irritated—as only Simon could be, so soon after orgasm—Simon flapped a dismissive hand at Jeremy. "I'm fine," said Simon. "Arm?"

      Jeremy came within a hair of telling Simon yes, that's your arm before he realised what Simon was asking, or, more to the point, what Simon wasn't asking. Sitting up, Jeremy braced himself before offering Simon his forearm.

      Simon grabbed it in both hands. With an effort he hauled himself upright, nearly dragging Jeremy right over despite his precautions. Simon wheezed out his next breath but only gritted his teeth and kept going, refusing to relent until he was able to slump into a more-or-less upright position, curled protectively forward over his chest. "Okay," he said, his voice cracking on the first syllable like a fourteen-year-old's, which made him wince again. "I'm up. Let me just—" Simon broke off there (doubtless embarrassed by being wholly out of breath) and edged backwards.

      Divining Simon's intentions, Jeremy scrambled after him, picking up the pillows and setting them upright against the headboard. It earned him only a scowl and a perfunctory swat which failed to connect before Simon settled back into the pillows, propped up against by the headboard in a position which Jeremy might call 'sitting', if he were feeling generous. Simon pressed a hand to his chest, coughed twice, winced, and settled. "Okay," he said again. "I'm good."

      "I'm tempted to argue that with you," Jeremy said, mildly alarmed.

      "Well, don't." Simon shifted uncomfortably, then shoved one hand into his shorts and rearranged things more to his satisfaction. Jeremy politely looked elsewhere until he was done. "I said I'm good and I meant it," Simon said, settling down again. "Anyway. Take those off and come here."

      Jeremy considered arguing the point further. Only for a moment, however. His earlier exertions on Simon's behalf had left him in a somewhat charged state—he was probably thinking more with his prick than with his head, but at the moment he couldn't bring himself to care. Also, he suspected that if he tried to call a halt to the proceedings now, he'd have a fight on his hands. "Will you come here?" Simon said, exasperated.

      "Yes, yes, Simon," Jeremy said, giving in and rising up onto his knees. Aware of Simon's eyes upon him (and also of Simon's still-too-rapid breathing) Jeremy took his own sweet time slithering out of his briefs, wriggling them down to his thighs before dropping onto one hip and kicking them the rest of the way off. It was something of a relief to get out of the things, if he were to be honest—they were tight, if not precisely too tight—and Jeremy stifled a little sigh of relief as his cock fell free, bobbing dumbly in the air in front of him.

      Simon reached for it, the tips of his fingers just barely falling short. Jeremy's skin prickled with the proximity, mindlessly aware of the minute rise in temperature in the air—he canted his hips forward just a trifle. Simon's fingers lit on the very tip of Jeremy's cock for a moment, then drew a lazy circle about its head, then fell away as Simon tired of holding out his hand. "Come here," Simon said again, pointing at his own lap.

      Jeremy could not resist a smile. "Gladly," he said, edging forward until he was able to swing astride Simon's thighs. Simon caught his breath in anticipation of a painful collision, which Jeremy thought he might find a bit offensive (although he, too, was holding his breath). Jeremy came to rest and settled down. There were no shouts of pain. A moment later, they let out their caught breaths in unison. "Tell me where you want me," Jeremy said, his hands falling lightly to Simon's shoulders.

      "Up," Simon said, grabbing both of Jeremy's hips and raising him back up onto his knees. Jeremy inched a prudent distance back, so that his cock only pointed at Simon's chest instead of actually pushing up against it (there were some associated thoughts about bullet holes that Jeremy had never in his life wanted to have and was suddenly fighting against with all his might). Simon considered this picture, then ran his knuckles up along the underside of Jeremy's cock, making Jeremy shiver. "That'll do," Simon said. He groped awkwardly for the night-stand.

      "Do you—"

      "No," said Simon, fumbling the drawer open and momentarily baring his teeth in pain. "I got it."

      "If you're certain," Jeremy said, privately dubious. Simon's shoulders were warm and damp under his hands; without giving it much thought he traced his fingers up along the side of Simon's throat and then down along his jaw, most of a day's growth of stubble rasping at his fingertips.

      Simon, distracted into equal thoughtlessness, lifted his chin into the touch. His eyes slid away, looking in the general direction of the drawer through which his fingers blindly sought; they only snapped back to true when Jeremy gave in to a momentary but powerful urge and leaned in to kiss Simon again. This time Simon barely protested at all, only caught the back of Jeremy's head in his free hand and stabbed his tongue into Jeremy's mouth; "Mph," he said, his eyes drifting shut.

      Resisting the urge to laugh Jeremy rolled his tongue against Simon's, giving him a ghostly taste of himself. Somewhere to his right Simon's other hand stopped groping about and drew back out of the drawer, shoving it shut. Simon winced against Jeremy's lips.

      Slipping out of the kiss Jeremy glanced down. Simon was now fumbling with the cap of a small, familiar bottle, popping the top open with fingers that trembled only a bit. It made Jeremy smile. "I think that'll do nicely," he said under his breath, resting his forehead against Simon's.

      "Yeah, well, it's not what you're used to, but it'll have to do," Simon said, apparently having not listened to Jeremy at all.

      "How do you mean?" Jeremy asked. "I don't know about you, but for me it brings up fond memories of enthusiastic teenaged fumblings—"

      Simon groaned. "Oh, Christ, shut up," he said, squeezing a dollop of the clearish stuff onto his fingers and dropping the bottle onto the bed beside him. "I don't want to think about that, okay?"

      "Then don't," Jeremy said, with a faint smile. "Just do."

      "This is no time for you to, to try and be profound," Simon said. Rolling his hand into a fist produced a faint squelching sound, neither romantic nor particularly erotic to Jeremy's way of thinking. It was undoubtedly effective, however, and then Simon briskly rubbed his hands together and caught Jeremy's cock in both hands while the friction still warmed them, and that, that was extremely effective. Also erotic. Possibly even romantic.

      Jeremy's hands slipped from Simon's shoulders and fell back to catch the headboard, instead. The rest of Jeremy followed, swaying bodily towards Simon, leaving him arched forward over Simon's hands with his eyes shut and his forehead touched to Simon's. "Ah," he said. "Mmph."

      "This get you off okay by itself?" Simon muttered, sounding vaguely embarrassed. "I know it's not what you're used to—"

      "I'll be fine," Jeremy heard himself say, as if from a distance. Even in this state he was moved to add, "I do appreciate your concern."

      That made Simon laugh, just a little. Jeremy was barely in a state to notice, however: Simon's hands were lovely, large and square, and set end to end as they were they held Jeremy in his entirety with a bit to spare. Simon rubbed the pad of his thumb over the tip of Jeremy's cock, causing Jeremy's eyelids to flutter. "'Cause, I mean, if you need more, I've got two hands."

      And oh, it was a tempting thought, but Simon was already slightly favouring his left arm, holding that shoulder hunched. Jeremy considered simply saying there's no need, not tonight—undoubtedly true as well as prudent—but his forehead was resting against Simon's and he could feel Simon's brows drawing down defensively, ready to take offence at the slightest allusion to his wound. It was, it seemed, still to be something of a show. Jeremy was still not averse. "If I'm to be honest, Simon," he said, his voice hoarse and faraway, "and what better time for that, I've worked myself into such a state already that I'll barely need any help at all."

      Simon was still, considering. The wrinkles in his forehead smoothed. Even his hands were still, which was a torment all its own but at least allowed Jeremy some access to his higher mental functions. Accordingly, he went for broke. "I, er, do enjoy blowing you," he admitted under his breath, truthfully enough. "Quite a lot." I love blowing you, he could have said with equal truthfulness, but he'd always suspected that putting the words 'I', 'love', and 'you' anywhere in the same sentence would most likely make both of them go strange for months.

      "Mmph," Simon said, in his turn. His fingers flexed. Jeremy's next breath shivered neatly into parts against Simon's cheek. It made Simon laugh—well, not laugh, but make a sound that might have been a laugh had there been any voice behind it—and squeeze again, harder, his fingers rippling closed around Jeremy's cock from one end to the other.

      "Hah." Jeremy shut his eyes. "Simon," he said, without thinking about it at all—Simon's name had become something like a reflex, apparently, and wasn't that interesting—"Simon," he said again.

      "Yeah," Simon said. Shades of earlier.

      Jeremy smiled. "Simon," he said a third time, now entirely on purpose.

      "Still me," Simon said. His forehead was knotting again, but the petulance that Jeremy had half-expected in his voice wasn't there, only a mild embarrassment. A distraction seemed called for—Jeremy pulled halfway free of Simon's hands and thrust slowly back into them again. Such an easy slide, with only the faintest drag of friction underneath making it all the better. He succeeded nicely in distracting himself, at any rate.

      Simon frowned a little. "Here, hang on, let me—" He broke off there and shifted his left hand further down, folding his hands together around Jeremy's cock and interlacing his fingers like a particularly blasphemous prayer. His thumbs jutted out, pointed back towards his chest, providing what Jeremy in his near-extremity could only think of as a runway. He thought that after everything was said and done he might find that thought ridiculous. "There," Simon said, his voice a bit rough. "Go nuts."

      "Eloquent," Jeremy said, his voice a stifled hiss. In truth, Simon's eloquence or lack thereof was stunningly unimportant to him at the moment. What was important was, unsurprisingly, pulling back again and then driving himself forward into the tight space between Simon's hands, gasping out a surprised and elated breath as Simon's thumbs pressed up into the stroke and rolled over the head of his cock, then doing it all again... "Ah, Simon," he breathed, momentarily not caring how awkward he must look hunched vulture-like over Simon's hands and squirming about. Bowing his head, he shut his eyes and concentrated on other things.

      "Shut up," Simon said, but he didn't sound upset. Indeed, he sounded almost fond, in his way, and he rubbed his cheek against Jeremy's in a stilted approximation of a kiss. His hands were still—still, that was, except for that mindblowing up-and-over roll of his thumbs at the apex of every stroke—and thus Jeremy found himself able to both protect Simon's precarious well-being and mastermind the rhythm, choosing the speed that suited him best. It wasn't quite like using his own hands. Less efficient, perhaps, but hadn't he just been singing the praises of process?

      He found himself aware of Simon's breath, nearly lost under the hellacious racket of his own. With their cheeks touched together they were very nearly exhaling into each other's ears, and Jeremy was aware that Simon's breath was also speeding, and not, if he were any judge, in pain. Somehow Jeremy found it within himself to smile, even as a certain not-quite-an-ache began to make itself known, deep in his belly. A show—not averse—"Ah," he breathed as the next thrust reached its peak and Simon added in that little stroke of his thumbs like an editorial comment. And again: "Ah," on the next stroke.

      Simon's breath speeded just a touch further. "Yeah," he said, like an answer.

      "Ah," said Jeremy, and "Ah" again, his voice rising in pitch, and on the third "Ah" his voice guttered like a candle flame in the wind and he detached one unsteady hand from the headboard and cupped it over the head of his cock and Simon's hands alike—

      "Ah," he said in unfeigned surprise as the lowering tension clutching at his limbs burst like a soap-bubble and he ground his hips forward and came into the protective shield of his own hand.

      "Yeah," Simon said at the same time, low and thoughtful and distracted, twisting his wrists and stroking with both hands to pull Jeremy through his little moment of truth. One hand pulled at him more strongly than the other but Jeremy was in no condition to notice such niceties, was indeed in no condition to notice the third little spasm of come nearly missing the palm of his wobbling hand and splattering up and out over Simon's t-shirt. It wasn't the most intense orgasm he'd ever had but it would do. It would do nicely.

      A handful of seconds later and they were both still and breathing hard. The little knot of hands hovering between them was slick and filthy with come, little dribbles of the stuff sliding off Jeremy's palm to splat onto the front of Simon's briefs, and neither of them cared—when, eventually, Jeremy shook his head and came around, all that mattered to him was that he'd managed to keep the bandages on Simon's chest unfouled. An arc of wet spots darkened the fabric over the right side of Simon's chest, but the left side was nearly pristine. "Ah, there," Jeremy breathed, utterly content.

      "You don't say," Simon muttered. The clump of hands dissolved as he let go and smeared his hands semi-clean against his t-shirt.

      Jeremy laughed under his breath and used the front of Simon's briefs as his own hand towel. Either Simon had not yet finished softening or had gone past soft and begun to harden again—Jeremy suspected the latter, given Simon's rapid breathing—but it was nothing that demanded immediate attention. (If Simon had been whole and hale, perhaps it would have been a different story.) Simon's brow knitted, but whatever protest had been forming, he swallowed it. "Jesus, I'm a mess," he said rustily. His left arm was once again clamped hard against his side, but not even pain could mar the expression of satisfaction on his face. "In more ways than one."

      "Perhaps a pain pill and a shower, then," Jeremy suggested, climbing gingerly back off of Simon and sprawling out on the other side of the bed. His eyes had grown so used to the orange-striped darkness that he could clearly see the patterns on the ceiling. "And while you have a shower I'll see about fetching dinner, shall I?"

      "Oh, yeah, food," Simon said, brightening. "Also pills. Sounds like a plan, Archer." He rubbed his knuckles against Jeremy's shoulder. It was, Jeremy thought, almost affectionate. "You, uh, want into the bathroom before I monopolise it?"

      "I think perhaps I ought to take you up on that," Jeremy said, rubbing his sticky fingertips together.


Getting to write porn from Jeremy's POV was such a huge relief. Jeremy notices things. Jeremy is concerned with more than getting off. Jeremy is my big snuggly baby. Well, okay, not really.

That being said, I appear to have some kind of enormous mental block centered around the British terms 'pants' and 'arse'. I have so much trouble calling underwear 'pants' with a straight face, and 'arse', in my brash colonial hands, always looks like a coy, twee, deliberate misspelling. Oh, God, it looks so wrong. I am such an American. At least I'm not talking about anybody's fanny!

In fact, 'arse' in my hands bothers me so incredibly much that I decided that when Simon is speaking, Jeremy hears him as saying 'ass' instead of 'arse', because Simon is American. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.